Was mysterious object spotted in space an alien probe?

Did We Just Get Buzzed by Alien Space Junk?             16 Comments              by      Al Williams

The researchers noted in a pre-print of the article that it was an "exotic scenario", but that "Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilisation".

"Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that 'Oumuamua is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment", wrote Bialy and Loeb, suggesting the object is being propelled by solar radiation. Oumuamua, Hawaiian for "messenger" or "scout", was first viewed by telescopes in October 2017.

He also lamented that mankind now lacks the technology necessary to chase Oumuamua for a closer study, as the rock's point of origin makes it very fascinating for researchers. It has been drifting to interstellar space for millions of years. In order for it to be effective, Oumuamua needs to be less than a millimetre in thickness, like a sail.

What does the study say?

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"Currently there is an unexplained phenomena, namely, the excess acceleration of Oumuamua, which we show may be explained by the force of radiation pressure from the sun", co-author and Harvard astrophysicist Shmuel Bialy told AFP via email on Tuesday. "These features make Oumuamua weird, belonging to a class of objects that we had never seen before", said Abraham Loeb, from the varsity.

Loeb said "Oumuamua deviated from a trajectory that is exclusively dictated by the sun's gravity".

They also cited other research showing that if outgassing were responsible for the acceleration, it would have also caused a rapid evolution in 'Oumuamua's spin, which wasn't observed. This might have been the result of cometary outgassing, but there is no evidence for a cometary tail around it. But that's usually seen in comets - which typically break completely apart if they get that near to the sun.

The previous team hypothesised that maybe the small dust grains adorning the surface of most comets dissolved amid Oumuamua's journey through interstellar space, with just larger grains remaining, reported India Today.

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